Du Plessis whips Lazy Buddies into action
Lazy Buddies may not be a jockey's idea of a fun ride but Mark du Plessis was equal to the task on the well-named Class Five stayer, refusing the old gelding any peace until the job was done.
Du Plessis and trainer Almond Lee Yee-tat had different viewpoints on one of the eight-year-old's primary characteristics, but agreed lazy is certainly an apt tag for a gelding who chooses his moments and his riders when it comes to winning races.
South African Glyn Schofield rode Lazy Buddies in his first two wins in the 2004-05 season, but only the boundless energy and aggression of Olivier Doleuze has been able to get Lazy Buddies to win as he has got more older.
'He gave me a good workout that's for sure. I had the whip on him over the back and just had to keep at him,' said Du Plessis.
But Lee pointed out that the horse's laziness has also been the key to his longevity, with yesterday's victory his seventh from 91 starts and HK$3.5 million in stakes looming up.
'I love this horse. In my first season, he won three races and that helped to build my reputation, so I won't forget him,' Lee said. 'But the thing about him being so lazy is that he looks after himself. When he is not in form, he just runs last and doesn't give his full effort. So that's the reason why he is still going so well now.
'I said to the owners that I respect whatever they do with Lazy Buddies now, whether they want to retire him or keep going. He doesn't owe anyone anything and has been a good horse to the stable over a long time, but if he keeps going we'll try to squeeze out another win.'
Lazy Buddies was part of a double for Lee, who also landed the last race with Meridian Pride.